FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 23, 2009
CONTACT: Marguerite Jordan, (850) 245-2112 or (850) 528-8206 (cell)
MAKE THE HOLIDAY SEASON THE SEASON OF RECYCLING
~DEP urges Floridians to reduce, reuse and recycle~
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
TALLAHASSEE –The holiday season is upon us and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is encouraging residents to remember the three R’s during holiday parties and get-togethers with loved ones and friends.
“This festive time of year is the perfect opportunity to give the gift of a greener community to ourselves, our children and future generations,” said Mary Jean Yon, DEP’s Director of Waste Management. “By everyone doing their part to help conserve Florida’s natural resources by reducing, reusing and recycling, we can make a significant impact to reduce waste and green our state.”
Americans throw away 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and the New Year than during any other time of the year, accounting for the creation of almost 25 million tons of additional waste during the holiday season. And according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, between 1960 and 2008 the amount of waste each person creates has almost doubled from 2.7 to 4.5 pounds per day. In Florida, more than 32 million tons of municipal solid waste is generated by 18 million residents and 80 million visitors every year.
Source reduction, including reuse, can help reduce waste disposal and handling costs, because it avoids the cost of recycling, municipal composting, land filling and combustion.
Simple things that can be done to reduce waste during and after the holidays include:
- Send your greetings in electric form. E-cards can be enhanced with sound and animation and they create no physical waste.
- Reuse packing cartons and shipping materials.
- Recycle unwanted and duplicated gifts by promptly exchanging them or giving them to a local charity.
- Recycle your Christmas tree and wreath.
- Compost your kitchen scraps from holiday dinners and parties.
- Give personal services such as massages, gym memberships, manicures, or facials as a gift instead of a present that could eventually end up in the trash.
- Use cloth napkins, silverware, glass drinking cups, ceramic coffee mugs and reusable plates rather than disposable plastic, Styrofoam or paper at holiday dinners and parties.
- Rent party furnishings rather than buying things you will only use once a year. This reduces clutter at your home and also produces less waste for the environment.
- Buy and use rechargeable batteries.
- Make sure that you do the appropriate research to be sure you are recycling your holiday waste from your household correctly.
To increase recycling throughout Florida, Governor Charlie Crist signed the Energy, Climate Change, and Economic Security Act of 2008 into law which establishes a new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent to be achieved by 2020. Within the law, DEP is directed to develop a program to achieve this goal and submit it to the Florida Legislature for consideration by January 1, 2010. For more information on the new statewide recycling goal of 75 percent, visit www.dep.state.fl.us/waste/recyclinggoal75/.